I’ve been working on a book entitled Sing While You’re Single for the better part of a year. Only my closest confidants have known about it to date. In it, I’m providing encouragement and advice to women who have decided to remain single for the time being due to the current climate in the dating world. This book is for women who haven’t given up on the possibility of having romantic love in their lives, but for now they are taking it slow and working on themselves.
One of the bits of advice I provide is that when you are a single woman you should seek to cultivate at least one to two solid friendships with other women. Having a good friend to call on is like having an ice-cold drink of water on a sweltering hot day. We all need companionship to some degree.
But it’s not always easy to meet a good real friend in the age of social media and with so many distractions around us. So, here’s some advice for how you can cultivate good friendships for yourself. It may take some time, but it is worth it.
Know the Difference Between Friends and Acquaintances
In my blog, I’ve discussed the difference between friends and acquaintances. To state it briefly, acquaintances are just people you know and who you really cannot count on in a time of need. They barely answer text messages let alone call you when you’re in need of someone to talk to. Friends are the ones who come through for you when it matters the most. Know the difference, and things will become clearer. You probably won’t be so upset when people let you down, because you know who they are to you.
Work on YOU First
One of the first steps in cultivating good friendships is to take a good long look at yourself. To have a good friend you have to be a good friend. So, if you have some latent or obvious issues that could be a hindrance to you meeting, relating, and getting along with others, get those issues under control with the help of a therapist, reading books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and making a conscious effort to change those behaviors or thoughts.
For example, if you are a complainer, who always focuses on the negative side of things, understand that this is something that other people just don’t like to be around! No one likes a complainer, or someone who is always throwing a pity party for themselves. It’s time to start thinking, talking, and acting differently. Be confident. Be positive and look at the beautiful things around you. As Einstein suggested, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.
The Best Places to Meet Friends
Where you meet people says a lot about their personalities, ambitions, thoughts, and goals in life. In my opinion one of the best places to meet new friends is at work. People at your job are on a similar playing field as you and tend to have similar interests and goals in life.
Here are a few other good places to meet potentially good, long-term friends who care about you and themselves:
- Volunteer activities
- Group therapy (with women who are struggling with the same issues you are)
- Small business networking affairs.
- Talking to your neighbors (of all ages) who are single women, who you’ve lived around for a long time.
- Attending organizing events with similarly minded women who care about their communities and neighborhoods.
Online meetup groups can be fun to attend, but in my experience the people who go have fleeting, flaky personalities. Generally, I think, meeting people online will likely be a short-term experience. Look to meet new people to connect with in person when you can—look in their eyes, feel their energy, and make smart choices accordingly.
It is possible to cultivate good friendships with other women, but you have to be willing to work on yourself and possibly adjust the way that you relate to others.
Again, remember that if what you’ve been doing in the past hasn’t worked, it may be time to do something different.
Lynn Gilliard is the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU. Her latest book Sing While You’re Single offers advice to women who want to remain single for the time being while still maintaining their belief in the power and possibility of love.